This Rice Dream Original Classic Rice Drink is pretty similar to the enriched version reviewed here, except that it’s not completely organic, and this beverage contains no added vitamins. This is an all-natural nutritional source therefore. So while this drink may not be as “complete” as the enriched version, it is less tampered with, and slightly better tasting too.
It’s a lower-sugar-than-soda beverage that’s made with whole, brown rice. This natural though not fully organic rice beverage flows down so smoothly as it pleasantly cools everything from mouth, to esophagus, to stomach, and beyond.
This original flavored rice milk is considered a healthier-than-dairy drink by many health food experts, as it is appropriate for vegetarian diets. Others drink it as an essential substitute for cow’s milk, due to allergies. I consume it because of its lower fat, zero saturated fat, and the light yet curiously refreshing consistency and taste. It’s quite the palatable liquid.
The carton says that this product contains 120 calories per 8-ounce serving, and has 24 grams of net carbs. The mild sweetness herein originates in the brown rice exclusively. No added sugar or other sweeteners here.
Still addictive however, as even small amounts of refined carbs (the fine-milled brown rice in this case) are still refined, and thus exhibit addictive traits in my body anyhow. So, moderate drinking of this product is key to avoiding creating the worst cravings for this drink. Though the label describes this product as ” … the highest quality rice drink you can buy… ,” still, steer clear of consuming this drink like water. Take it easy.
Benefits, Pros, Advantages, and Features
- This drink is nearly white in color, just like dairy milk, though it’s not as opaque. It has a less dense, thinner consistency.
- Though this is not an entirely organic product, the rice they make it from, which is the second most prominent ingredient herein, is organic. So this is a partially organic product.
- No added sugar here.
- They make this with only brown rice; though that rice, though whole grain, has been milled to a very fine texture; so fine in fact, that it remains pretty well suspended in the liquid. So some of the benefits of that originally whole grain are lost, in my view. For one, the glycemic index of milled rice may be higher than when the rice is left whole. So with such milling here, I get more of a “sugar high” from this product.
- The aroma is mild, yet smells every bit as pleasant as this drink tastes. Indeed, it smells very much like it tastes.
- The Hain Celestial Group, Inc., the makers of this product, say on the label that it is easily digested, and gentle on the system. They recommend using this as a base in smoothies and puddings.
- They advise that this rice drink is gluten, lactose, soy, dairy, and cholesterol free, 99% fat-free, 100% vegetarian, and low in sodium.
- This classic original flavored beverage has no saturated fat, and contains a bit of “good” fat (mono- and polyunsaturated fats). These great nutritional numbers suggest that this product is heart-healthy.
- The packaging protects the liquid inside from excessive light, which can negate its flavor somewhat, as well as some of the nutrition.
- The mostly bright white color of this drink resembles that white cow’s milk. However, there is a touch a brown in the look, from the brown rice from which this drink is fashioned.
- No bland taste here; just a mild, unobtrusive flavor, almost like whole rice, though this does taste a trifle sweeter than cooked brown rice at the lunch table.
- This product is packaged in a carton; not plastic, and the taste therefore, is far less contaminated by the leaching compounds from plastic bottles that sometimes transfer to the drink inside.
- You need not refrigerate this beverage until you open it (break its foil seal) for the first time. Until then, it keeps well in a cool place for the better part of a year, according to the best-if-used-by date on my carton.
- After you open it, this drink keeps for one to two weeks in the refrigerator. It should always be refrigerated after opening.
- They also include a recipe for Chile Cheese Polenta on the package side panel.
Disadvantages, Cons, Problems, And Concerns
- This drink has some sugar (11 grams per serving). But since it’s naturally occurring sugar, replacing it with a lower-calorie alternative sweetener might have a greater bad effect than just leaving the sugar that’s there intact, and would indeed make this product less natural to boot.
- Some non saturated fats have been added to help provide that smooth and slippery viscous texture. Still though, I’d prefer no fat; healthy fat or not. If only they could learn to make it taste fatty but without the fat.
- The package warns not to use this drink as an infant formula (for children under age 5).
Filtered water, organic brown rice (partially milled), expeller pressed high oleic safflower oil and / or sunflower oil and / or canola oil, sea salt.
- Serving size: 1 cup, 8 fluid ounces (240 milliliters).
- Servings per container: 4.
- Calories: 120.Calories from fat: 20.
- Total fat: 2.5 grams, 4% DV.
- Saturated fat: 0 grams, 0% DV.
- Trans fat: 0 grams.
- Polyunsaturated fat: 0.5 grams.
- Monounsaturated fat: 1.5 grams.
- Cholesterol: 0 milligrams, 0% DV.
- Sodium: 100 milligrams, 4% DV.
- Total carbohydrate: 24 grams, 8% DV.
- Dietary fiber: 0 grams, 0% DV.
- Sugars: 11 grams.
- Protein: 1 gram.
- Vitamin A: 0% DV.
- Calcium: 2% DV.
- Vitamin C: 0% DV.
- Iron: 2% DV.
Rice Dream original flavored rice milk is quite the delicious value though it lacks vitamin fortification. This version of the product is a bit less flavorful than the vanilla version, and so I like it less than the vanilla. But due to its gently sweet, grainy flavor, relatively low sugar (as compared to soda pop), low-fat, and affordable cost, I’d rate this product at 90 out of 100.
Where To Buy Rice Dream Original Classic Rice Drink
So pick up a quart at your favorite larger local grocer or health food store. I’ve seen this at Walmart, Trader Joe’s, and Giant Eagle. Look for it in the blue, light lavender, and white carton with picture of the white beverage splashing around on the front, and the white rectangular cap. They normally do not refrigerate this product.
- Brown Rice on Wikipedia
- Rice Dream Website
- Rice Milk on Wikipedia
- Where To Buy Rice Dream Original Classic Rice Drink
- : Adjusted category and tag assignments, fixed typos, and added white space.
- 2012-07-07: Originally published.